Best of Spain & Portugal end Barcelona

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1130
15 Days
Availability : Oct 2020 - Apr 2021
Madrid, Spain
Barcelona, Spain

Follow the fortunes of the Spanish, Portuguese and Moorish Kingdoms as evidenced in their grand castles, stupendous religious buildings and incredible works of art.

 

What’s Included:
  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight’s luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
Experience(s)
  •  Adventure
  •  Cruises & Water Tours
  •  Culture, History & Arts
  •  Family Vacations
  •  Rail Journeys
  •  Sightseeing
  •  Walking & Biking
  •  Wildlife & Nature

 

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About Insight Vacations

At Insight Vacations, we have been in the business of creating magical experiences for travelers for 40 years. But for us, it’s never been just a business. Travel in its truest sense – not just going to incredible places, but really connecting with them, in an authentic way – is both a joy and a personal passion, for every member of our team. Let us share that passion with you. We’ll take you on an unforgettable journey. We’ll immerse you in unique experiences, and we’ll introduce you to amazing people. The magic begins here!

Sustainability

Insight Vacations works to enrich travel experiences by protecting and conserving the stunningly beautiful environments, fascinating cultures and awe-inspiring communities of our world. Through our partnership with The TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit with the mission to safeguard people, wildlife and the planet for generations to come, Insight guests can make their travel matter.

Insight Cares Experiences

A selection of Insight trips feature TreadRight experiences and speak to our collective commitment to encourage the cultures, traditions and arts of the communities we visit.

Choose E-Documents & Reforestation

At Insight Vacations we are dedicated to reducing our environmental impact and giving back to the local communities that we visit with our trips. In partnership with One Tree Planted, we will plant on tree in California for every guest who chooses to receive their travel documents electronically as e-Documents

Highlights

Authentic Dining

  • Porto: Sample a selection of famous Port wines at a tasting at the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores.
  • Lisbon: Delight in a taste of the famous Portuguese delicacy, Pastéis de Belém.
  • Seville: Tables are reserved for dinner, drinks and a fiery evening of Spanish dance and music! Get ready for throbbing guitars, lamenting solos, colourful dancers and the rhythmic stomp of flamenco.
  • Torremolinos: Taste a selection of freshly pressed olive oils with locally made farmer bread when you stop at Almazara, the oldest olive grove in the region.
  • Torremolinos: Hear the stories of local life as you are invited into the home of a local family to join them for a freshly prepared, traditional lunch, with wine.
  • Valencia: Learn the authentic recipe of paella when you join a local chef for a Cooking Demonstration. Savour the flavours of this classic dish for dinner, washed down with a glass of Sangria, during your Highlight Dinner.
  • Sant Sadurni d’Anoia: Join a wine expert when you visit Cava Dorada. Enjoy a tasting at the great Cava vineyards during your delicious Highlight Lunch.
  • Barcelona: With fantastic sea views, be seated for an exceptional Catalan Celebration Dinner incorporating classic cooking with only the freshest produce.
  • Dining Summary: 14 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 2 Lunches with Wine (LW) and 6 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with wine tea or coffee. Festive Highlight Dinners: 20 Dec Christmas Day in Lisbon & New Year’s Eve in Valencia. 27 Dec New Year’s Eve in Lisbon.

Insight Experiences

  • Madrid: Witness the world’s finest collection of Spanish paintings plus an impressive foreign collection as you tour the Prado Museum with an expert art historian.
  • Seville: Visit Cristina Heeren Foundation, a beneficiary of a TreadRight Foundation grant. This private dance school is dedicated to promoting the conservation of flamenco and supports young enthusiasts from all over the world with a special focus on new talent from the Andalusian region. Feel the passion behind the choreography as you put your rhythm to the test during a dance lesson. Later, share in the dancers’ devotion as you witness emotions come to life in a flamenco performance.
  • Granada: Best interpreted with the help of a Local Expert, the Alhambra Palace is the ultimate in Muslim architecture, an arabesque fantasy in stone, complemented by the gardens of the Generalife.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Madrid: With your Local Expert, travel along the Paseo de la Castellana and see the Cibeles Fountain, the Royal Palace and the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España and cross the Puerta del Sol.
  • Segovia: Walk the medieval streets of this fortified city with your Local Expert and see the 14th century Alcazar Palace.
  • Salamanca: See the handsome arcaded Plaza Mayor, the honey-coloured cathedral and the 16th century university buildings as you explore the city with your Local Expert.
  • Porto: See the iconic bridges and buildings decorated in tiles.
  • Fátima: Join the faithful at one of the world’s holiest sites and pay homage at the Chapel of the Apparitions.
  • Obidos: Lead by your Travel Director, walk through the picturesque narrow streets up to the main square of this ancient walled town.
  • Lisbon: Explore with your Local Expert, from the Lower Town, beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco. Visit the Belém Quarter to see the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the ancient Belém Tower.
  • Lisbon: Visit the Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture, reflecting Portugal’s trade over the centuries and UN
Itinerary

DAY LOCATION(S) HOTEL MEALS DESCRIPTION
Day 1 Madrid, Spain

Barceló Torre De Madrid. Dinner
Your transfer will depart Madrid airport at 09:00, 11:00, 13:30 or 16:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant and get to know your fellow travellers over a beautiful evening of delicious food and wine.(Dinner with Wine)
Day 2 Madrid, Spain

Barceló Torre De Madrid. Breakfast
Enjoy sightseeing with your Local Expert as they take you along the elegant Paseo de la Castellana, passing Madrid’s most famous fountain in the Plaza de Cibeles. Your drive continues to the Royal Palace and the monument to Cervantes in the Plaza de España before crossing the Puerta del Sol. A highlight of your trip is a visit to the magnificent Prado Museum with an art historian to admire the paintings of Velázquez, Goya and many others.(Breakfast)
Day 3 Madrid, Spain

Hotel Alameda Palace, Salamanca. Breakfast
Travel to the fortified city of Segovia where you will walk through the medieval streets from the ancient aqueduct to see the magnificent Alcazar fortress. Journey west, passing the ancient walls of Ávila, en route to Salamanca. During your orientation see some of the golden stone buildings the city is famous for, including the handsome arcaded Plaza Mayor, the honey-coloured cathedral and the 16th century university buildings.(Breakfast)
Day 4 Porto, Portugal

Nh Collection Porto Batalha. Breakfast, Dinner
Cross the Portuguese border to reach Porto, situated on the River Douro and celebrated internationally as the capital of Port wine. Visit the Vila Nova de Gaia wine stores that house the famous wines and walk along corridors of casks. Get to know your tawnys and vintages during a tasting. Continue your exploration of the city, admire the multi-coloured houses and churches covered in glazed tiles, as well as the iconic bridges (or ‘Eiffel Towers on end’ according to one Frenchman).(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 5 Porto, Portugal

Dom Pedro Lisboa, Lisbon. Breakfast
Head south for a visit to miraculous Fátima. See the Basilica or visit the Chapel of the Apparitions, which commemorates the appearance of the Virgin Mary to three young shepherds in 1917. Journey to the fortified town of Obidos and walk inside its walls, exploring the narrow, medieval streets with houses covered with flowers. Your travels continue to the Portuguese capital, Lisbon.(Breakfast)
Day 6 Lisbon, Portugal

Dom Pedro Lisboa, Lisbon. Breakfast
Best of Spain and Portugal -all variations E932 ALL Itinerary day 6 Please amend copy to: Sightseeing with a Local Expert takes you along the spacious avenues of the Lower Town and beneath the hilltop Bairro Alto to the Terreiro do Paco, the finest square in the city. Visit the Belém Quarter from where sailing ships once set forth to discover unknown lands. Enjoy a taste of the famous Pastéis de Belém from a traditional patisserie that has managed to hold on to the secret recipe of Portugal’s finest pastry for almost 200 years. View the modern Monument to the Discoveries and the more ancient Belém Tower. This fortress was originally set in the middle of the river, but is now left high and dry on the riverbank. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Jerónimos Monastery with its beautiful Manueline architecture. With the afternoon at your leisure, perhaps join an Optional Experience to the Portuguese Riviera? It is often visited by surfers, occasionally royalty, and even James Bond.(Breakfast)
Day 7 Seville, Spain

Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms), Seville. Breakfast
Leave Lisbon via the modern Tagus Bridge and cross the border to reach Seville. With your Local Expert, visit the immense cathedral to see the Tomb of Christopher Columbus and the slender Giralda Tower, the former minaret of the Great Mosque. Explore the labyrinthine Santa Cruz Quarter and see the Alcazar.(Breakfast)
Day 8 Seville, Spain

Ayre Hotel Sevilla (Superior Rooms), Seville. Breakfast
Enjoy a relaxed start and a day to relax, shop or continue exploring this fascinating city at your own pace. Our suggestion is to join an Optional Experience to the ancient city of Córdoba, where you will visit the magnificent Mezquita, see the old Jewish Quarter, and enjoy some free time to shop or explore as you wish. Visit Cristina Heeren Foundation, a beneficiary of a TreadRight Foundation grant. This private dance school is dedicated to promoting the conservation of flamenco and supports young enthusiasts from all over the world with a special focus on new talent from the Andalusian region. Feel the passion behind the choreography as you put your rhythm to the test during a dance lesson. With some free time for dinner, head next door to Triana market and stroll through the many colourful stalls where vendors are selling tapas made from fresh, local produce. Why not grab yourself a refreshing sangria for a cheers to your new found dancing feet? Later, share in the dancers’ devotion as you witness emotions come to life in a flamenco performance.(Breakfast)
Day 9 Seville, Spain

Meliá Costa Del Sol, Torremolinos. Breakfast, Dinner
Head south to Gibraltar, part of mainland Spain yet an overseas territory under British control since 1704. With your Local Expert, visit the Rock of Gibraltar and St. Michael’s Cave to see the Barbary Apes, legendary guardians of the colony. Relax as you travel the scenic route along the Costa del Sol through exclusive resorts where the rich and famous holiday. Your journey continues through the green hills to the white-washed village of Mijas. Stroll through the old streets and gardens and take in the views of the coast.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 10 Torremolinos, Spain

Meliá Costa Del Sol, Torremolinos. Breakfast
Enjoy the following day at leisure on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol. Relax by the blue Mediterranean waters, stroll along the promenade, savour the specialities in the local restaurants or consider exploring Malaga, the birth city of Picasso.(Breakfast)
Day 11 Torremolinos, Spain

Vincci Albayzín, Granada. Breakfast, Lunch
Travel to the oldest olive grove in the region and stop at the rural mill-factory of Almazara to taste a selection of different oils with locally made farmer bread. Continue to Alfarnatejo, a quiet white washed village with a population of just 500 people and surrounded by stunning mountainous landscape. Walk the town centre to see the 18th century Iglesia del Santo Cristo de Cabrilla. In small groups, you are invited into the home of a local family to join them for a delicious Highlight Lunch made of fresh, local produce with flavours typical of the region. Continue to Granada to visit the magnificent Alhambra Palace with your Local Expert. Built as a citadel by the Moors in the 13th century, it is a wonder of beautiful gardens, fountains and stone cut like lace.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Day 12 Granada, Spain

Barceló Valencia. Breakfast, Dinner
Journey to Valencia, the City of Arts and Sciences. Pass through the Old City and see its ancient gates. In your free time perhaps take a stroll to the Cathedral and El Miguelete? Or sit back with a drink and watch the Valencian’s go about their day. Valencia is home to one of the world’s greatest dishes, paella. Meet the chef of a local family-run restaurant in the heart of the old town and learn the traditional recipe during a Cooking Demonstration, before savouring the delicious flavours of this classic dish, washed down with a glass of sangria, during your Highlight Dinner.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 13 Valencia, Spain

Barceló Sants, Barcelona. Breakfast, Lunch
Follow the coast to Peñíscola to view the sea-lapped castle used in the film ‘El Cid’. Continue along the Costa Dorada to the Cava Bodegas at Sant Sadurni d’Anoia. During a delicious light lunch, enjoy a tasting as you learn the sparkling secrets of Spanish bubbly. Continue along the coast to reach Barcelona.(Breakfast / Lunch with Wine)
Day 14 Barcelona, Spain

Barceló Sants, Barcelona. Breakfast, Dinner
A Local Expert joins you for a drive along the Passeig de Grcia adorned with elegant wrought-iron street lamps and some of the most flamboyant Modernist buildings. Continue through the Eixample district to visit inside Gaudi’s extraordinary masterpiece, the Sagrada Família. See the central nave with its giant, tree-like pillars, spectacular vaulting and the beautiful rainbows flooding in through the intricate stained-glass windows. At a local restaurant, join your fellow travellers to toast newfound friends and a wonderful journey as you enjoy a Celebration Dinner with wine.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 15 Barcelona, Spain

None Breakfast
Your journey ends after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Barcelona airport at 07:00, 09:00 and 11:00.(Breakfast)


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